Mass. unemployment rate drops to 9.6%; employers added 36900 jobs in September

BOSTON — The state's unemployment rate dropped into single digits in September after spending five months above 10%, as employers reported adding 36,900 jobs and Massachusetts continued its economic recovery from the sudden COVID-inflicted recession.

The state unemployment rate is now the lowest it has been since March, the last month of data that did not fully reflect the massive layoffs prompted by government-mandated shutdowns and large-scale shifts in consumer behavior to avoid public health risks.

Wendy Northcross, CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, greeted the lower unemployment rate with caution.

Additionally, 12,300 government jobs were shed in Massachusetts last month, according to the state's Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

Weekly unemployment claims have fluctuated in recent months after sharply spiking during the spring, but those figures also remain elevated compared with pre-pandemic levels.

Lawmakers still could push to scale back public services or impose additional governmental layoffs to rein in spending amid that tax shortfall, but the Baker administration says its plan will avoid cuts by deploying a combination of federal funds and long-term savings.

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